RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 147 ]
Special Permits; Deer Management Assistance Program Permits
[47 Pa.B. 2612]
[Saturday, May 6, 2017]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its March 28, 2017, meeting, amended § 147.673 (relating to eligibility and application for DMAP) to allow the Commission to accept Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) applications from political subdivisions and government agencies to enable them to manage deer harvest within a conglomeration of distinct, privately-owned and publically-owned lands under their jurisdiction.
This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 47 Pa.B. 1490 (March 11, 2017).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Commission is statutorily charged with managing white-tailed deer herds in this Commonwealth on behalf of citizens. To accomplish this responsibility, the Commission allocates antlerless deer licenses across this Commonwealth among its various wildlife management units to utilize hunter harvest as the primary management tool of white-tailed deer. These allocations are adjusted each year to allow the deer herd to grow, stabilize or decrease, and are based on the best available science and in consideration of the broad and disparate interests of the various stakeholders in this Commonwealth. This system addresses deer management Statewide.
In 2003, DMAP was established to provide both public and private landowners with an additional tool for the management of local white-tailed deer herds on lands where excessive deer numbers have compromised the landowners' land uses and other interests. Some communities in more urbanized areas have documented evidence that requiring individual landowners to individually submit DMAP applications has not been an effective method towards resolving localized deer management concerns. Subsequently, the Commission has recognized the need to increase deer harvests in local areas in response to growing concerns related to disease outbreaks.
The Commission amends § 147.673 to allow the Commission to accept DMAP applications from political subdivisions and government agencies to enable them to manage deer harvest within a conglomeration of distinct, privately-owned and publically-owned lands under their jurisdiction. By expanding political subdivisions' and government agencies' ability to apply for permits on behalf of property owners, the Commission hopes to improve efforts to control deer populations using regulated DMAP hunting. Political subdivisions and government agencies making application in this manner will be required to submit a management plan. The Commission will allocate DMAP harvest permits based on current conditions relative to goals and objectives outlined in the Commission-approved management plan.
Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to authority to issue permits) provides ''the commission may, as deemed necessary to properly manage the game or wildlife resources, promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit and promulgate regulations to control the activities which may be performed under authority of any permit issued.'' The amendments to § 147.673 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
This final-form rulemaking amends § 147.673 to allow the Commission to accept DMAP applications from political subdivisions and government agencies to enable them to manage deer harvest within a conglomeration of distinct, privately-owned and publically-owned lands under their jurisdiction.
3. Persons Affected
Political subdivisions and government agencies wishing to make application for participation in DMAP on behalf of a conglomeration of distinct, privately-owned and publically-owned lands may be affected by this final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
This final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
This final-form rulemaking will be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Thomas P. Grohol, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 769, No. 240) (45 P.S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.
The Commission, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 147, are amended by amending § 147.673 to read as set forth at 47 Pa.B. 1490.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 47 Pa.B. 1490 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
BRYAN J. BURHANS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-406 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 17-766. Filed for public inspection May 5, 2017, 9:00 a.m.]
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